Gov. Snyder grilled about role in Detroit's bankruptcy - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Gov. Snyder grilled about role in Detroit's bankruptcy

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's a first for a sitting governor: Gov. Rick Snyder was deposed Wednesday in his Lansing office over his role in the Detroit insolvency issue.  Union attorneys wanted to know if the governor was predisposed to take the city into Chapter 9 Bankruptcy court, an allegation he has denied.  

The governor was questioned by several people for about three hours in the state office building. Lawyers wanted to know if the state had bargained in good faith, and if the state really wanted to avoid bankruptcy.

Outside the meeting this Detroit lawmaker weighed in on that. "I think all of the actions were predisposed to take Detroit into bankruptcy," Representative Fred Durhal Jr. tells Fox 2's Tim Skubick.

Last December the governor made it clear that he did not want to propel the city into bankruptcy but could not rule it out. "I would prefer not to. I mean that would be normal human nature. But, that's not to say if it's the right thing for the community - we'll do what's right," Snyder said during that interview.

Sharon Levine, an attorney at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, says the governor cooperated on some questions, couldn't remember on others and did invoke client privilege. On the issue of using bankruptcy as a last resort Levine says Gov. Snyder called it just that - a last resort.

"He did want bankruptcy to be viewed as a last resort, but that juxtaposed with the fact that we were concerned about whether or not there was really adequate negotiations or exploration of other solutions. And the fact that we still really don't have a safety net for retirees, maybe it wasn't such a last resort," Levine says.

If the unions can prove there was no bargaining in good faith they will ask the judge to keep the city out of chapter nine. The governor did not speak with reporters but in a statement he said he testified to ensure a quick and fair resolution of this bankruptcy issue, which he hopes will spur a 'vibrant and thriving Detroit.'

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